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Restoration Potential of Ruppia maritima and Potomogeton perfoliatus by seed in the mid-Chesapeake Bay

    Project Start: 2003
    Scheduled Completion: 2004
    Primary Funding Recipient: Anne Arundel Community College

    See Technical Note 04-02

    Reproductive potential is a measure of an organism's capacity to produce offspring. In plants, total reproductive potential is a combination of vegetative or clonal offspring and those resulting from seeds. However, because seeds are produced in quantity and are the propagules responsible for distribution of new ecotypes to new habitats, they are the most significant contributor to the reproductive potential of perennial species. Determination of an organism's reproductive potential provides essential information for modeling of population change, establishment of protective management regimes, development of propagation protocols and the evaluation of factors that limit reproductive success.

    This project developed protocols for the assessment of reproductive potential of Ruppia maritima and Potomageton perfoliatus, two species of submerged aquatic plants that predominate in the mesohaline reaches of the mid-Chesapeake Bay. Once reproductive potential by seed was defined for healthy populations of these species, their life cycles were evaluated to identify nondestructive methods of harvesting seeds for restoration projects. Such nondestructive methods leave intact the roots and rhizomes that persist in the aquatic soils and that are associated with population maintenance through vegetative spread.

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Updated: March 2005
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